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  • Writer's pictureKeith Bailey

I Ranked And Reviewed The Best Riflescopes For Hunting In 2023

Looking for the perfect hunting scope for your rifle? The best optics nowadays are smaller, yet nimbler. Read these hands-on reviews.

best riflescopes for hunting

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.

1. Vortex Optics - Diamondback Tactical (6-24x50) First Focal Plane Riflescope

Top-rated: 2,544 ratings | 227 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: Extra-low dispersion glass and fully multi-coated lenses transmit a crisp, bright sight picture.

Helpful review: "Couldn’t have asked for more, turrets track amazing, reticle is dead, both center and mils. I bore sighted the scope before shooting (just by eye, no laser or tools) and I was 3 Mils high and 2 right, adjusted according to my observation of that on the optic and it was dead on. Less then 10 rounds shot to a very shootable zero. Shot a few groups and it’s amazing the difference a good optic can make compared to the one that generally comes with rifle/scope combinations. I feel I can in know way shoot to this scopes ability so I think it’s the perfect choice for a new long range shooter, it has the basics dead on, no fancy features but the turrets track Great, picture is crystal and the reticle is dead accurate. The ONLY thing I could complain about is like others have said, adjusting your head to get a good sight picture can require a bit of work, the optic wants you in a specific spot but with the right mounting for eye relief, it’s not noticeable. BUT overall 10/10, amazing first focal plane sight, this is my first one and I’d never go back to anything else given the choice." — Joshua B.
Trending review: "One of the best value long range scopes I've ever seen, and I've tried dozens of optics. I got the 4-16x version for my 22lr and was blown away. Clear glass edge to edge, works well in low light, and adjustable parallax 20 yards-600+ yards. Only downside, and only reason I'm returning it, is the lack of illumination. If that doesn't bother you, you'll be hard pressed to find anything better for around $400." — CrunkyMonky
Updated review: "For $400 dollars I really was t expecting much, I was completely wrong! Hands down you cannot beat this scope for the price point. Your not getting $2000 glass or features but you are getting so much more than you pay for!! I have only shot at 50 and 100 yards just to sight in but there is not a single complaint! Glass is crystal clear, parallax is dead on perfect, the turrets while slightly mushy give very sharp audible clicks. It tracked wonderfully on the tracking test and is just dead on wonderful. I’ll try and update again after I have more rounds through it. Overall though I would recommend and buy again!
Update #1: went out to the range to see how good of a group I could put together and to see if there were any issues or changes in zero. Everything is still wonderful. My best five shot group at 100 yards was measured at 0.62 in with a Weatherby .300 win mag using Hornady 180 grain SST Super performance ammo. I love this scope and have recommended it to two guys at the range today. Can’t say enough good things for the price of this scope and the performance it gives you!" — Christopher

Get it from Amazon now: $399.99 & FREE Returns


2. Bushnell - Engage Riflescope

Top-rated: 373 ratings | 114 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: The 0.18-MOA-thick crosshairs are easy to see without obstructing the target picture, and there are hash marks at every 1 MOA for accurate elevation holdover. The hash marks below zero are 2-MOA wide to aid in accurate windage holds.

Helpful review: "I purchased the 2.5-10x44 version of this scope for my 10/22 after watching a few reviews on YouTube and I am absolutely impressed with the quality, durability, and price of this scope. I had a Bushnell scope a few years ago that was very lacking in every way I.E. wouldn’t hold zero, collected very little light, and the turrets moved the crosshairs with almost zero consistency. I swore I would never buy another Bushnell scope again, but against my judgment I did and I am so glad I went with it. Tracking is from what I’ve seen perfect, held zero with no problems, let’s in plenty of light, and has lots of higher end scope features like target style locking turrets, 30mm scope tube, and side parallax adjustment in a scope that only costs around 270 dollars! In comparison to my vortex diamondback tactical 4-16x44, it’s close but for the price and features almost have to recommend this scope over the vortex (which is hard for me to say as a vortex fanboy) and very well may be switching over to Bushnell if they can keep this quality and price point consistent." — Dillon
Trending review: "As others have said, the reticle is hard to see if you shoot with dark background at dark targets and have your AARP card. On white paper shooting small circles, it's great. I had a hard time shooting black, shoot-n-c targets in dark woods. Truth be told, I'm 51 and my eyesight ain't what it used to be. My nephew says it's me, looks fine to him, so if you're 50+ years old, this might not be the scope for you for hunting in the dark woods. I still like the scope, ALOT! So it will go from 22lr squirrel gun to .17HMR target gun. The turrets are easy to adjust, loud, easily audible, positive clicks. The clarity of this scope rivals scopes I have that cost double. So yeah, great scope, wish the reticle was a little thicker." — Mike
Reassuring review: "I have a LOT of scopes (way too many, I guess). I have some very poor, older Chinese scopes. Also have some Leupold LRTs and a Sightron SIII. Due to the length of my 2 private ranges, I have no need for very high power optics. I do have some 30X and 40X scopes, but never use them over 20X. I also prefer 3-15 and 6-24..... I prefer SFP. The glass on this Engage is excellent. Bright and crisp. The turrets have excellent tactile feel. MUCH better than the TWO, new SWFA 10X42mm SF models I bought recently. The SWFA glass is great, but the turrets are worse than a NcStar. Go figure. The only 'criticism' I have, is the cross hairs are very fine. I sighted in the scope this am, but that range was completely in the shade. Would like to have some 'dots' in the reticle. Or IR in this situation. It would be difficult to hunt with this scope in low light. But, I only shoot paper now days. Haha. Most of my recent scope purchases have been in the $500 range. This scope is a bargain at just over $400. Lastly, virtually all scopes in this price range are Chinese. Once you get over $500, you may get some from the Philippines. All are a wash with today's technology." — Ron Bussiere

Get it from Amazon now: $449.99 & FREE Returns


3. Vortex Optics - Strike Eagle Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Top-rated: 2,916 ratings | 334 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: The new illuminated BDC3 reticle focuses the shooter's eye to the target faster. Holdovers allow for immediate use out to 650 yards for targets of known distance.

Trending review: "Finally. I can see my target. Just what my tired, old eyes needed. I am no longer able to focus on my Mag Pul flip up front sight. At 1x the Strike Eagle has NO parallax, and AR-BDC reticle acquisition is fast with semi-precise face/ stock placement. Impressive-- from 6 feet to 50 yards-- haven't practiced at 1x out to 100y yet. Love the arc in the AR-BDC. Reticle focus was set at 1x (now I don't need glasses) and did not change when scope dialed to 6x. Magnification wheel easy to turn-- has a large cog to enhance grip-- and stays set. At 6x I was able to clearly see a 1" bullseye, and was able to shoot 3/4 MOA groups with my AR-15's 16" (match grade) barrel and match grade ammo (and occasionally I'd put two rounds on top of each other at 100y-- not bad for a hack). Took 6 rounds to zero scope. Like the extra battery in the windage cap. Detents for windage and elevation are very fine---user has to pay attention. Appreciated 1/2 MOA/ click adjustments on a 1-6x scope (some competitors are 1 MOA per click). My only criticism: Scope caps that flip "up" obstruct vision when raising one's weapon from low-ready to pointed in. I turned mine 90 degrees so they flip to the right (I am right eye dominant, and I don't like looking over the open scope caps). I am able to keep both eyes open when acquiring the reticle at 1x. Caps are a bit flimsy, but do an OK job of protecting the scope's lenses. Otherwise, this is a very well-built scope and unbeatable for the money. Excellent product (old guys rule!)." — Amazon Customer
Helpful review: "For the price, this scope is FANTASTIC. The glass is very good for this price. It definitely does not compare with my Zeiss V4's, Zeiss Conquest MC's, Nightforce, or Swarovski. But the big eye box DOES rank right up there, with Zeiss! None of that "looking thru a toilet paper tube" effect. My RRA .223 is shooting just as tight of groups with this Vortex as it did with a more expensive scope, so I know it is functioning properly. The turrets are very crisp and the parallax adjustment works very well. But...the is SUPERB. One of the best features. Rarely do I find a MOA reticle that I like, but I am in love with this one. Not too thick, not to thin. Nice spacing, and not cluttered at all. And the illumination is PERFECT. No light-scatter whatsoever. As for customer service; top notch. While laser bore sighting, I noticed something odd. Customer service said they better look at it. Less than a week later I got not an email, but a PHONE CALL from the service department! He checked it out, said it was fine, and explained to me why I was seeing what I was seeing. So it was sent for nothing. But Vortex paid shipping both ways, and it only took 8 business days from when I sent it, to when I got it back. Vortex customer service cannot be beat!!! Thank-you Vortex!
UPDATE: I purchased a second one for a new HW 97K air rifle. My first shooting session the notoriously accurate HW 97 was putting five shots in one hole at 35 yards. Eight months and about 1000 pellets later, the point of impact and grouping is the same, and I have never had to adjust the scope. Spring air rifles are incredibly hard on scopes, so this Strike Eagle is proving its durability." — Shaun Devrisky

Get it from Amazon now: $499.00 & FREE Returns


4. Sightmark Wraith - HD (4-32x50) Digital Night Vision Riflescope

Top-rated: 1,269 ratings | 240 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: 5 weapon profiles to save zeroes for different firearms and calibers.

Helpful review: "Got to use the scope on a 2 night hog hunt. I was pleased with the scope for the most part. It does have limitations from my experience. 1. the night vision is useless at night without the illuminator but that is expected. So, when using the scope with the illuminator take care to have a good line of sight to your intended target. Grass, twigs, and the feeder produce some blow back lighting from the illuminator that the scope picks up. This causes the landscape behind these things to become somewhat darker. In my case, the hog I was tracking in the scope was a bit difficult to see since it was feeding about 30 yards behind behind the feeder causing the pig to be darker in the scope. I was still able to make a successful shot but it was not like in an open field. 2. it is more difficult to measure distance and depth at night through the scope. I let my hog go the first time since I thought it was quite small compared to the feeder I was using as a gauge for size. Eventually, (30 minutes later) I decided to take the shot at the pig that I thought was about 5-10 yards behind the feeder. It was more like 30-35 yards. The overall shot was about 75 yards from my blind instead of the 45 yard shot I thought that I was taking. 3. If you expect to scan for game all night, you may want to rethink that. I was using a thermal scope to see the hog that I harvested before it came in to me. Without the thermal, I don't think I would have seen the pig until I heard it splashing in the mud and water from behind the feeder. I was able to experiment with its capabilities on deer that I saw throughout the night during my hunt. I was able to see the deer from quite a distance away but when I tried to find them in my scope using the IR illuminator, it was impossible until they came within 100 yards due to the foliage that popped up here and there that seemed to block the illuminator from reaching the deer. Once the deer were clear of the brush of the clear cut I was watching. With this being said, I am still happy that I purchased this scope and it performs well especially for the price. Just understand that there are limitations to this type of night vision scope. Keep your shoot lanes clear of unnecessary obstruction and you should be good." — DT
Trending review: "A friend had one of these and after trying it I had to buy one. They are by far the best value around for night vision scopes. Only complaint is the menu buttons are hard to find and push in the dark but once you get used to it it's a non-issue. Very easy to set up and sight in. Works great in either daylight or total darkness. The IR light that comes with it is pretty good and has 3 levels of intensity. I use an extra infrared illuminator for extra range (LUMENSHOOTER A8Plus). Best to purchase a good supply of Eneloop rechargeable batteries. The scope takes 4 AA batteries and they only last a few hours. I keep two extra sets of Eneloop rechargeable batteries on hand at all times. I have been using these for over 12 years and they still recharge great." — DoorGunner
Reassuring review: "I have a small farm with dwarf Nigerian goats. Lots of coyotes in the area. I can now get a permit to legally hunt coyotes at night in Alabama. This is the ticket! Setting was a little different than what I watched in a video but simple enough to figure out. I doubt I will ever need to shoot much over 100 yards but I am sure with a little practice, I could. The more you zoom, the less clear the picture but no further than I plan to shoot, that shouldn't be an issue. Love being able to use day and night! Good chance it will be set to shoot from 2 or 3 different rifles depending on range and need. I believe you can set it for up to 5. Very pleased thus far!" — Elijah Gilbert

Get it from Amazon now: $499.97 & FREE Returns


5. Vortex Optics - Viper (6.5-20x50) Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Top-rated: 572 ratings | 221 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: Side knob for quick and easy adjustments (with range numbers visible while in the shooting position).

Helpful review: "I have not actually mounted this scope and shot it yet. Image through scope is crisp and as clear as you would expect. I'm rating 5 stars because of the outstanding customer service. Shortly after arrival I noticed the zoom knob on my scope was a little loose. I realized it would slide forwards and backwards, and eventually it came off it's setting. I was pretty frustrated since it was brand new, so I left a calm message with Vortex explaining the situation on a Saturday. Even though it was outside normal business hours I got a call back within an hour saying to send it back and it would be fixed free of charge, they paid shipping and everything. I guess this is what you hope to happen when you pay around $500 for something and it arrives less than 100%. But it was refreshing to see a company stand by their word and fix the scope with absolutely no hassle (and to get back to me outside of normal business hours was totally unexpected). So if you're hesitant spending the money I can assure you Vortex is a company that takes pride in their product, and would rather loose money than have a dissatisfied customer out there." — John Ross Harrison
Trending review: "I installed the 6.5-20x50 Vortex Piper onto a 300 Remington Ultra Mag and sighted it in at 2.75 inches high at 100 yards. After using my Sierra ballistic computer program to calculate the ballistics for the load that I was shooting I clicked the vertical adjustment to make 3 shots at 660 yards. Then I clicked the vertical adjustment to make 3 shots at 760 yards which was as much safe shooting distance that I could get in my friends cornfield. I then returned the vertical dial to my 0 starting point and made 3 more shots that were exactly 2.75 inches high at 100 yards which was my original starting point. I could not be more pleased with this scope. The clarity is better than any scope that I own no matter what power that I am using or distance that I am looking. This is a great long range rifle scope." — Leonard Howell
Reassuring review: "I am a big fan of high mag with large exit pupil, but than I found this scope. With previous bad experience with scopes with less than 50mm lens, I was a little skeptical about the 44mm lens. However, it was the vortex viper. And with all the rave and life tine warranty, I figured "what the heck?" I'm just gonna buy it and give it a chance. If I don't like it, I can alway return or resell it to some one else. Well I tell you what! This scope is AMAZING! It was as clear as day light at the range. Even when facing the sun, there was hardly any light distortion. It held zero perfectly, even after 50+ rnds constantly being thrown out of my Savage 10 FCP 308. The zero was perfect. I punch the same hole over and over using surplus ammo. I'm keeping this scope for good. Even if the gun go, the scope will stay regardless of it condition." — Duan N.
Most-discussed review: "So after almost a thousand rounds fired, multiple environments, traveling, hilltops rolled down and mountains hiked, I love this optic. Sitting on a Rem. 700 .300WinMag custom, this optic has allowed me to do what I enjoy, and that is to shoot s*** from far away. The Viper is terrific for it's reliability and Vortex is great for their warranty system. I've had this setup bounce all across voracious terrain in the U.S. and I couldn't be more pleased with this purchase. I highly recommend the sunshade, inexpensive but high in quality, to compliment it and if I remember correctly, the front will require a 30mm cap FYI. Also, being able to adjust parallax to identify trace at long range is a major plus. Very good optic, very good price." — C.L.
Favorite review: "This scope is my favorite. Glass is clear and high quality, no issues holding zero, and always on the mark. I own a few Leupold scopes, and this certainly rivals them in craftsmanship and quality. Vortex has a lifetime warranty with the scope. I was at the range shooting target @ 200 and 300 yards. I never came close to needing full magnification. The fellow next to me was shooting target @ 300 yards. He used my scope to see the impact points for his targets! Clear as could be with this scope :) If you are on the fence purchasing this scope, just buy it. You will be glad you did." — Ed Peddicord
Updated review: "This scope is perfect for my 338 Lapua Magnum. Its clear and crisp, even at 20x power. The main reason for purchasing this scope was their outstanding no questions asked lifetime warranty. Highly recommended for target shooting and long range hunting with magnum calibers." — Joshua

Get it from Amazon now: $499.00 & FREE Returns


6. Vortex Optics - Venom (5-25x56) First Focal Plane Riflescope

Top-rated: 369 ratings | 41 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: The First Focal Plane EBR-7C reticle gives you accurate holds at any magnification, and an included throw lever allows for fast transitions between magnifications.

Helpful review: "This scope literally changed my life. Mount it, bore sight it, and it’s a two round zero. Pivot left, use a holdover hash and hit 10” steel at 400 yds on the first round. Three shots. And, it holds a zero. I’ll be cycling most all other scopes on high performance rifles I own into Facebook Marketplace, and replacing them with this thing. The relief, glass, light quality, and eye box are very close to approaching Nightforce performance. For a quarter of the price. It’s a game changer. The thing is, it performs exactly as expected throughout the magnification range. That is the difference between this thing and every other scope under $1200. It simply cannot be beat without spending $1200 plus." — TheMaze
Trending review: "Very impressive scope, tracks great and has excellent clarity. The turrets are sturdy with no slack. The FFP reticle is very easy to see and read even at low power. Having used Athlon scopes for the past several years, I was really impressed with Vortex at this price range. I compared it to an Arken, which is also a very good scope. But in the end I went with the Vortex. I prefer the turrets on the Vortex and the 56mm obj." — Shaky
Reassuring review: "Have purchased two of these scopes so far and have been completely pleased with the quality of the glass and turret tracking. While it is easy to get caught up in much more expensive glass, this one works just fine without sacrificing quality or warranty. I do wish they would ship faster, but it arrives and when they’re not available in this location, arriving is a big deal." — FDC

Get it from Amazon now: $499.00 & FREE Returns


7. Burris - Scout Scope

Top-rated: 340 ratings | 100 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: Ultra-fast target acquisition with both eyes open.

Helpful review: "Very happy with the performance of this scope. This is the first intermediate eye relief scope that I have owned and used. Mounting it with Warn low, quick release rings was simple and required no bore-signing beyond looking down the barrel at the target and aligning the scope. It only took 5 rounds at 25 yards before moving out to 100. I was able to get it quickly dialed in after that. (Picture is at 100 yards shot from sandbags on a bench; it shows precise movement with 4 (1moa) clicks up and left, then 2 clicks with each shot until it was centered.) I used Federal Powershock 150 grain. I really like the eye relief set up for quick target acquisition and retaining a large sight picture. The optics are very clear and seem comparable to Leupold scopes in this price range that I've used. The thin crosshairs are nice but become blurry when using higher power at close range (not that it's an issue). Haven't used the BDC; they provide ballistic information stickers for several .308 and .223 brands and grain weights. I'm glad that I can keep the iron sites on with this set-up, but mostly will be shooting with the scope on. Though it wasn't my intention I am going to try using this setup for deer hunting. The only negative I have with this order is that they sent the wrong rings (diameter and height) and when I called, they were backordered 5 weeks. So I returned them and bought the correct ones from a store." — Adam C.
Trending review: "Mounted this on a .308 Ruger M77 Gunsite (forward mount). Purchased a set of Warne quick detach rings to put it on the picatinny rail. This was my first experience shooting with both eyes open and a long eye relief scope. Another factor is that I shoot with my right eye, but I'm left eye dominant, so I could definitely notice the battle between my eyes as my left would try to take over and take the scope picture out of view. Eventually I was able to hold focus with my right eye while keeping both eyes open, and that is a very, very cool experience. No more scope tunnel vision! Now I can catch that other buck trailing in with my other eye! This wouldn't be particular to this scope but something to keep in mind if you're in the same boat, being cross eye dominant and considering a scope like this. It can work. Obviously if you choose to just use a single eye, no issue there - I've tried it both ways and I'm going to try to stick with both eyes open. I found I needed the scope mounted all the way forward on the M77. It amounts to about 12" of eye relief, to have a good full sight picture. The windage and elevation adjustments were quick and precise (started with a bore sighting) - although out of the box it was quite a bit off zero. Overall very happy with it, and looking forward to using it next deer season." — R.G.
Reassuring review: "Installed on Ruger GSR .308 with 1" Warne QD Low rings Note: (Ghost ring sights do not obstruct view at all with these low rings) I wear glasses and having the focus feature is great! I almost bought the Leupold 2.5x but glad I didn't from reading reviews from folks with glasses (blurry and thin reticle). Living in Western Washington lots of trees and under brush 300+ yd shots are rare unless you come across a clear cut or farm land. Sighted in and shot targets at 25yds and a 9" steel plate at 150 yds standing with Galco Ching Sling (very) fast target sighting compared to standard rear mounted scopes when it can take a while to find the relief and then the target. shooting both eyes open was quickly adapted, seeing the target and pivoting the rifle from the low ready position with elbow in Ching Sling BAM! that fast. if you are on the fence on buying this Scope like I was don't hesitate, I absolutely love this Scope / Rifle and the Scout Rifle concept (THANX COOP!). you can acquire a target fast with this set up. Thank You for reading my review." — Ben

Get it from Amazon now: $389.32 & FREE Returns


8. Leupold - VX-Freedom Series

Top-rated: 424 ratings | 44 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: Designed, machined and assembled in the USA.

Helpful review: "Just mounted this scope onto my RDB, using a Weaver SPR mount. This is my first Leupold scope. The glass clarity and sharpness is incredible. The eyebox is great and the ocular ring is barely visible while looking through it. I'm astonished by the weight. It doesn't throw off the balance of the rifle. Fit and finish are what's to be expected from Leupold. The only drawback I can see out of the box is the turrets. They are terrible. I suspect that this is where the cost savings are made. There is barely any feel to the adjustment and the clicks are nearly imperceptible. I doubt this is a scope you'll be adjusting between shots after zero. I haven't shot it yet but I'm sure there won't be much to report in terms of accuracy, or lack thereof, after zeroing. *If* a problem were to arise after a range session, I will update accordingly. My bottom line; I don't think the nasty turrets warrant removing a star so I'll rate it a 5." — Bobby
Trending review: "My first Leupold scope... What a nice scope. Build is solid. Glass is clear and little to no fishbowl effect at the 1.5x setting. Duplex reticle is simple, easy to pick up, and super crisp. A nice feature that I wasn't expecting is the diopter has a locking feature that I don't have on any of my other optics. The zoom was a little gritty on the first turn, but it has been smooth since. My guess is there was some grease on the threads that hadn't been worked all the way through yet. This is an initial review, because haven't been able to take it to the range yet. If you don't see an update on this from my range trip, then you can assume that Leupold has held true to it's reputation. I will only update if, for some reason, it gives a disappointing performance at the range. So far, I have nothing but good things to say about the Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4 x 20mm Rifle Scope and I would 100% recommend it to anyone that asks." — T.R.
Reassuring review: "Took a chance and bought this, seemed to good to be true ($199 for a Leupold). Is it as good as the top line Leupold scopes? Of course not! Is it a Great buy for the money? Definitely! Through this on an old Winchester 94 in 44mag, wanting something fast, light and compact. For this purpose the 1" tube of this Leupold was preferred over the 30mm tubes that seem so popular now. Scope seems well built. The glass is very clear and bright. Thinking about a couple more for my Marlin 1895 45/70 & AR now." — Brad V.
Most-discussed review: "Fantastic scope, I mounted this on a BCM 16” AR. Picture is bright and clear on all magnification levels. Field of view is amazing, the edges are very thin and do not obscure the sight picture like cheaper scopes do. The eye relief is very forgiving, even at 4x. At 1.5x, target acquisition is ridiculously fast and easy - follow up shots are a breeze. On a side note: make sure you spend money on a reliable mount. I used a cheap chinesium scope mount and it came loose after every 5 shots or so. I suggest getting an aero ultralight 1” mount for this scope." — Mark A.

Get it from Amazon now with FREE returns:

$299.99 - 450 Bushmaster

$299.99 - 1.5-4x20mm

$349.99 - 3-9x40mm

$299.99 - 4-12x40mm


9. Crimson Trace - Hardline Riflescope

Top-rated: 61 ratings | 11 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: Windage (right side) and elevation (top) knobs are exposed for quick and easy adjustments.

Helpful review: "A nice optic at a very good price, skip the BDC reticle and go for mil or moa MR1 reticle. So yeah, I'll start out with what I don't like, which are BDC reticles. While the idea is great the drops are made for one barrel length, velocity and climate. Outside of those very specific instances you are going to have to figure out what the DBC actually is for your rifle. And if you are going to do that, or even just proof that the BDC does work for your set up, why not use a standard reticle with properly marked hash marks? I can't think of a single instance where a BDC is better than a mil dot or similar reticle. You can certainly make it work by figuring out your DOPE and where it corresponds to the BDC, but as Rick would say 'that is just building DOPE but with extra steps'. Now on to the good, the glass is very good. The adjustments are good, clear and repeatable. While I'd prefer locking adjustments, the pull system that CT uses is functional. Running box drills show the adjustments are true and repeatable. The ranging adjustment is very stiff, but that is better than too loose and being at 14 when you left it at 6. At about 3.5" the eye relief is pretty good and gives you good usability on large frame ARs and bolt guns while still being usable on standard ARs, though you will be better served with a cantilever mount there. The optic isn't a lightweight at just over 20 ounces, but it isn't a boat anchor either. More so with the overall footprint of 13.5" long. All in all I think CT has done a good job at making a very good optic in the important $500 optic range. Even more so because they can currently be found for a little more than half that price as I write this. " — J. W. Mullins
Trending review: "My two best scopes were a Vortex Viper AO 4-12x40 and a Weaver Mildot 3-10 Japan Mfg Scope. While this Crimson Trace Scope is not an Adjustable Objective scope, in a direct comparison with the above mentioned scopes, on tree leaves and chain link fences at 100, 200, and 300 yards this CT Hardline 4-12x40 is optically equal to my 4-5 year old Vortex Viper and my jap made Weaver. Contrast is high, acutance is excellent, I see none of the typical optical abreactions common to low cost scope. This scope is worth 3 times the price. If this scope demonstrates adjustment ease and repeatability and durability, it will become my new favorite. It is a few ounces lighter than other 4-12x40 scopes. The ocular focus and the zoom rings are nicely dampened....not to tight and not too loose...just right. I will update this review fall 2022 with comments on accuracy (adjustment repeatability) and durability....they have to be judged after some use." — Charles McCoy
Reassuring review: "I needed an affordable scope for my new (to me) 17HMR. Once I picked a price point, I found that there were a multitude of offerings to choose from. The AO on this Crimson Trace sold me! I need that. Really amazed and well satisfied with the performance and clarity. Resolves 17cal holes in the target at 100 yards." — Dave
Favorite review: "Put this on our old Ruger 22 long rifle and my son is just having a blast getting multiple bullseye on the target. The scope is solid and feels quality made. Adjustments on the knobs are accurate and engage well. The focus adjustment is tight, and stays in place." — RoboChick
Updated review: "This is a great scope! I got the 4-16x42 hardline moa. The retical is crisp ,works great in low light, controls are smooth. The glass is top notch. Get these while there cheap!" — Sarah

Get it from Amazon now: $395.71 & FREE Returns


10. Burris - Fullfield II Hunting Scope

Top-rated: 1,116 ratings | 158 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: The simple, integrated eyepiece and power ring has no-slip grip for quick adjustment.

Helpful review: "I mounted one of these on my 700 Rem 280 AI almost 20 yrs ago and after I found the right load, I zeroed the rifle and it has not budged since then! I have had this rifle in Alaska 2 times and the baggage gorillas wrecked my aluminum gun case but the Burris held zero. I check it every year before hunting season and it is still right where I left it the first time. It has been ridden in a scabbard on my 4 wheeler many miles. The only other scope I can trust this much is my Zeiss and it cost a LOT more than this Burris. I have 4 Burris scopes and none have never had a hiccup." — Smurf
Trending review: "I have this scope but with the regular plex reticle and a Nikon buckmaster 3 x 9 scope. I feel that the Burris scope is a bit better for hunting. First of all the Burris is definitely more robust. The Burris and Nikon are both exceptionally clear. The eye relief (the zone that the scope works before blacking out) is awesome on the Burris. Best I've come across. Now for low light use. This is where it really counts for a scope. Low light use is what separates good from bad. Both the scopes are really good. I find the Burris edges out a tiny bit better but not by much, but with the generous eye relief and robust materials The Burris fullfield II is a better scope in the same price range. If you had either one and not the other to compare to you would be happy with either. Both are better than most out there in this price range (especially at low light conditions)." — Phil
Reassuring review: "This is on a 25-06. This is the best inexpensive scope I own. I shoot 1/2 inch groups at 100yds. Good light gathering lenses. I called to purchase another brand and the gentleman turned me on to this Burris for $50 cheaper and it has been fantastic. Better optics than the other. You wont go wrong. Mine is 7 or 8 years old. As long as they make it the same I highly recommend for those who do not want to spend a fortune. Supposed to have a forever warranty but I never needed it." — James
Updated review: "I'm almost reluctant to write this review for fear that they'll all get gone after the word is out about how awesome these scopes are! I've purchased three so far for my guns. They're awesome. A gunsmith recommended this scope to me. And for the money, it can't be beat! Crystal clear, no distortion, no blurriness.....can't stress enough how well made the scope is. PLUS ITS FOREVER WARRANTED! you can't go wrong" — Tater Smith
Favorite review: "When I first looked through the scope, I could not wait to put in on my rifle. Very clear at 200 yards which is about the farthest shot I'll have to take. So far I'm 7 for 7 on kills. If and when I do miss, it will be on me and not the scope. Well worth the money. This is my 4th Burris Fullfield II scope." — John Allen
Most-discussed review: "I own Burris, Bushnell and Vortex scopes. The Burris are hands down the best scopes with excellent optics quality. The Bushnell Legend and Elite are very good scopes also. My Vortex are 3rd place and and I will not buy any more. I will buy one more Fullfield II 4.5-14x in the near future for my .223 AR." — Josh

Get it from Amazon now with FREE Returns:

$199.99 - 3x-9x-40mm

$166.00 - 4.5-14x42mm

$204.29 - 6.5X-20X-50mm


11. Vortex Optics - Diamondback Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Top-rated: 2,508 ratings | 392 answered questions

best riflescopes for hunting


Highlight: A solid one-piece tube with a hard anodized finish creates a shockproof and durable scope while helping camouflage the shooter's position.

Helpful review: "Love this scope!!!!! Just centered it today and it's DEAD ON ACCURATE. The bulls-eye in the center of the target is approx. 80% the size of a dime so 4 out of 5 of my shots are pretty well grouped (within a quarter). I shot from 100 yards. It also looks pretty damn BOSS on my AR15! Great scope! Well made! Now - if you are putting it on an AR15 you will need more than medium rings.. I had to go with the high rings.. Not to mention you will need to take of your rear sights. I took mine off because I didn't want them flipping up on accident and banging into the back bottom of my scope and possibly cracking the glass. Not sure if that would happen, but I didn't want to take the chance. Not to mention they are simple to put back on. I have this scope, and a reflex/iron sights for this gun if I am doing walking/shooting." — Pyropete
Trending review: "I cannot yet comment on how the scope performs, but I can attest that Vortex is an awesome company and super easy to work with. I received it and the bikini dust cover was cracked - no big deal, but I was bummed! Sent them an email on Saturday, and first thing Monday morning they were asking me for an address so they could send me out another. Just got home to my brand new dust cover and a complimentary Vortex baseball cap." — Michael Harbaugh
Reassuring review: "Missed out on a bull elk last season because I could not see it through my fathers $600 Leupold I bought him. Grabbed my girlfriend's rifle with this vortex scope mounted, saw the elk disappear into the brush clear as day. I regard Leupold highly, and have no idea what the issue was that day, but I don't believe I can easily differentiate between the two in terms of visual quality on any given day. In other words; this scope is an amazing value in my opinion." — DeerHunter
Most-discussed review: "No it's not the best scope on the market but at this price point it is at the top of it's class. I would have expected it to cost at least $50 for the features it comes with. This is a great scope for anyone looking to get a rock solid scope, at a reasonable price, while still having an unconditional lifetime warranty. I have a 3-9x40 that has been on my Lee Enfield Mk. 4 No. 1* for two deer seasons now. Most of my shots are under 300 yards and this scope is perfect for that. Long gone are the days of needing to spend as much on your scope as you did your rifle. You can get quality optics for under $200 and easily put meat in the freezer. There comes a point with optics that the differences between brands and even the models within the brands that can only be measured with lab equipment. The human eye is not capable of determining the difference, and therefore not capable of utilizing the differences." — Jason M.
Favorite review: "The scope feels and looks like quality because it is. Mounted up on the rifle great and has been holding zero on a 350 Legend. The rifle rides around in a soft case bouncing around in the back seat on the way to go hunting and keeps its zero. It’s not the cheapest scope out there but for the money you get more than what you pay for. Optics are clear and bright." — Jordan
Updated review: "Awesome scope! Ordered another Vortex from another company and it arrived shattered. Ordered this one and medium rings for a Moss 500 12 gauge with cantilever rifled barrel - would recommend higher sitting rings than the mediums. Upon sighting in, I maxed out the vertical and had to order taller rings to reach zero. Good in low light and clean reticles. Not as good as my Leupold but surely beats the Nikon." — Jess Gerst

Get it from Amazon now with FREE Returns:

$249.00 - 3-9x40

$229.00 - 1.75-5x32

$299.00 - 3.5-10x50

$249.70 - 4-12x40

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